Justin.tv goes off the air

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Twitch’s gain is Justin.tv’s loss. The online service that let anyone broadcast themselves to anyone who cared to watch has closed up shop so that its owners can put their entire focus on streaming game play.

Justin.tv posted the announcement Tuesday on its website. “The Justin.tv website, mobile apps, and APIs are no longer in service,” a message at the top of the page reads. “Thank you sincerely for seven years of live video memories.”

justin tv close

Surf over to Justin.TV and you’ll find a goodbye message, a tribute video, and an FAQ for the live video service.

The reason for the closure? The success of Twitch, the platform that allows gamers to live stream their gaming sessions over the Internet. Twitch got its start in 2011 when Justin.tv spun off its gaming section as a new site. Since then, Twitch has essentially subsumed Justin.tv—earlier this year the parent company rebranded itself as Twitch Interactive.

After all, it’s Twitch that caught the eye of Google. The web giant is reportedly in the midst of closing a $1 billion deal to add Twitch’s brand of game streaming to complement its own YouTube video-sharing service.

And that leaves Justin.tv out in the cold. The site, which began in 2007 as a way for cofounder Justin Kan to beam his life to untold viewers without one, quickly expanded to other channels featuring people broadcasting whatever they wanted. A tribute video posted on the Justin.tv site—which lacks only the maudlin Sarah McLachlan-style farewell ballad and shots of the founders swimming, Scrooge McDuck-like, in a pile of Google dollars—says that Justin.tv grew to 1 million registered users a year after its launch and was the first site to pair live video streaming and live chat.

“J.tv will probably be remember as one of the most awkward Internet experiences of all time,” cofounder Kevin Lin says in that video.

There’s more than just a video in the hollowed-out corner of the Web where Justin.tv used to be. Existing users can also find an FAQ in which they’ll learn that their account is now closed and they’ll be unable to access any settings or content. Want to retrieve any of your videos? Video archiving came to an end in June. Pro account users will get a refund, according to the FAQ.

If you logged into Twitch with your Justin.tv account, you’re still able to do so, though you really should complete a form to transfer your account over to Twitch. The deadline to do so is September 5.

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